QR codes can contain many different types of information. Instead of telling you different uses for them, I'm going to tell you what they're capable of and let your creative mind do the rest. Instead of telling you how to paint, I'm going to tell you the colors. You'll be able to see the endless possibilities by the end of this post.
A QR code is a type of barcode that can store different types of data. Different app readers on smartphones are then able to act and read this data. Think of it as an alternative way of getting data into your phone (as opposed to typing it in manually). Here are some of the possibilities (Learn more about what QR codes are here).
1. Contact information
QR codes can contain contact information so someone can easily scan a QR code, view your contact details, and add you on their phone. You can input your name, phone number, e-mail, address, website, memo, and more. I've commonly seen these used on business cards, for instance. You give someone a business card, they see a QR code on the back, scan it with their phone, and easily add your contact info to their phone.
2. Calendar event
If you have an event you want to promote, you can create a QR code containing info for that event. QR codes containing event info can contain event title, start and end date/time, time zone, location, and description. This could work well on an event flyer or possibly even on a website promoting.
3. E-mail address
Nice and simply, eh? A QR code can contain your e-mail address so someone can scan the code, see your e-mail, and then open an e-mail on their phones. If your call to action is mostly to have someone e-mail you, this would be great.
4. Phone number
Maybe e-mail isn't immediate enough and you want someone to call. Link them up to a phone number.
5. Geo location.
If you have an event you want to promote, you might want to stick a QR code linking someone to a Google Maps location. This will allow someone to scan your QR code and get directions so they don't have to manually type in an address. Although some may prefer to type it in, it doesn't hurt to give them another option.
QR codes can populate a text message with a number and message. You can have your QR code send you a text saying, "Tell me more about XYZ," for instance. This is great when paired with text message marketing. Using Duffled (not an affiliate), for $35/month, you can have a do-it-yourself text messaging platform to try out text message marketing.
You can also just have a sentence or a paragraph of text. This could be fun for having some type of QR code based game where you can leave hints in QR codes.
8. Wifi network
Do you hate telling someone a long WEP wireless key that's a pain to type out on a mobile phone? Set it up so someone can scan a QR code and automatically configure wifi on their phones.
Don't think little of this 3-letter data type. This is where the possibilities become endless. You can use a link that takes someone to your Facebook fan page or Twitter profile. You can also link someone to a YouTube video. Or maybe you want someone to pay for something via PayPal.
Did I mention all of these services have mobile-friendly versions of their website? That is, if you link someone to your Twitter page they'll be redirected to a version that's built specifically for their smartphone? Don't forget to make sure the link goes to a website that's optimized for mobile devices.
Did this post inspire any new creative ideas? I'd love to hear them!